How to Find Auto Insurance for High Risk Drivers
Insurance companies are all about risk. If you fit into any of the categories of a high-risk driver, it means that you’re a bigger gamble for a provider to insure than the average motorist. As a result, they’re less likely to want to insure you—and they charge you more than the average driver.
It’s true that finding insurance can be challenging for a high-risk driver, but it’s also not as complicated as you might think. Below, we cover everything you need to know about car insurance for high-risk drivers, from where to find it to how much it costs and how to save on your monthly rates. Let’s get started!
Who is Considered a High-risk Driver?
If you’re considered a high-risk driver, it means that insurers find you more likely to file a claim or have one filed against you. There are various reasons why a person might need a high-risk car insurance policy. Most providers take the following categories into account:
- DUI offense on driving records
- Multiple tickets for speeding or driving violations
- First time drivers
- Young teen drivers
- Lapse in insurance coverage
- Poor credit
- Other serious driving violations
If any of the above apply to you, it means that an insurance company will be taking a gamble by offering you coverage. As a result, you’ll almost always pay higher insurance rates and have a smaller choice of insurance companies to choose from.
How Can I Find High-Risk Auto Insurance?
Many insurance companies offer insurance policies for high-risk drivers. However, even though almost every state requires drivers to carry car insurance, some providers may outright refuse to offer coverage, depending on the severity of driving infractions.
If you are denied coverage from a standard carrier, you have two options to look into. Unfortunately, both tend to charge higher rates to drivers than mainstream providers. Those options are:
- Nonstandard insurance companies: These insurance companies offer coverage to drivers who have trouble getting quotes from other carriers. While nonstandard auto insurers may not offer the same perks as mainstream companies, they will be more likely to provide coverage. Here are some insurers that cater to high-risk drivers:
- Assurance America
- Bristol West
- National General
- Safe Auto
- The General
- State-sponsored automobile insurance plans: If your driving record is severe enough that even non-standard carriers refuse to provide coverage, you still have another option. Most states have what is known as a high-risk pool for drivers who are unable to purchase car insurance due to their high-risk status. This state-sponsored market will allow you to get the minimum coverage you need, although it will be more expensive than anything found on the traditional market. However, you can leave the pool early if you find a policy with another company or if your assigned insurer offers you a regular policy. You can learn more about your state’s high-risk auto insurance pool via your state insurance department or at the Automobile Insurance Plan Service Office (AIPSO) directory.
How Long Will I Need High-risk Insurance?
The good news is that being a high-risk driver only lasts as long as your driving record prevents you from getting insurance on the traditional market. Certain infractions—such as accidents and DUI convictions—may stay on your record and increase premiums for a longer period. However, your rates will go down over time as you prove you’re a safe and responsible driver. In fact, most high-risk drivers can begin paying lower rates after a year or two.
How Much Does High-risk Insurance Cost?
As a high-risk driver, you’ll pay more for car insurance overall. The amount of your premium increase will depend on a number of variables—and the more that apply to you, the higher your rates will be. For example, younger drivers with a driving infraction tend to pay the highest rates. However, the type and number of infractions on your record, as well as your credit status, are all good indicators of how much you should expect your premiums to increase. For example:
- DUI: If you have a DUI conviction on your driving record, it’s not uncommon to see your insurance rates double.
- Multiple tickets for speeding or driving violations: Drivers who rack up several tickets in a short period of time shouldn’t be surprised when their premiums increase by as much as 35%.
- Poor credit: Bad credit results in a premium hike to offset the risk. Some insurance agencies charge up to 69% more for individuals with poor credit scores, especially those below 600.
Overall, if you have a high-risk auto insurance policy, you can expect to pay anywhere from 35% to 69% more than a person who’s not considered high risk. But here’s some good news: there are plenty of steps you can take to decrease your monthly premiums, which we’ll cover below.
How to Lower Your High-Risk Car Insurance Rates
Are you a high-risk driver who wants to lower your car insurance rates? Your best bet is to focus on improving your driving record and adopting safer driving habits for the future. Here are some steps you can take to get yourself out of the high-risk category:
- Take a defensive driving course: Many insurance companies will offer a discount for policyholders who take a driver safety course. It can also help remove “points” from your driving record, which can help decrease your monthly rate.
- Wait for your violations to expire: As a high-risk driver, you must pay an increased premium until your policy renews—even if your violations have already expired. To avoid overpayment, keep track of the dates of all your violations and when they’re set to lapse. Then, you can simply switch to a preferred provider the day after your violation expires.
- Improve your credit score: Although this won’t change your driving record, it will increase the chances of insurance companies willing to offer you traditional coverage. In fact, for every credit score bracket you move up, you can expect to save 17% each month.
- Compare insurance quotes: Not all insurance companies charge the same rates for high-risk drivers, which makes this the best way to save money on your premiums. When you gather several online quotes from multiple insurance providers, you’ll be able to choose the right plan and ensure that you’re getting the lowest rate possible.
Want to Save On Your Rates? Start With Free Insurance Quotes
Being a high-risk driver means your rates will increase for a while—but they should never break the bank. If you’re looking for the best rates possible, we’re here to help. Thanks to our immediate online car insurance quotes, you can choose an affordable auto insurance plan for high-risk drivers and get your coverage—all in a matter of minutes. Get your quote today and join the other high-risk drivers who have lowered their monthly premiums!